can drive women
crazy - so what
you gonna do?'
KEVIN BLECHDOM: FROM
(continued from previous page)
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Ok. So you're cool with
the notion of entering the pantheon of disfunctional
female artists like Tracy Emin or Sylvia Plath?
Are you down with 'Kevin Blechdom' being a name that can be used to critique
‘What do you mean?’
Well, when I was in Berlin I had a fight with this boy I was seeing, and he said
that arguing with me felt like listening to your album.
(KEVY B LAUGHS REALLY HARD FOR ABOUT HALF AN HOUR).
"Well…I don't like the crazy woman stereotype so much, or
a comparison to me being used as an insult, but awkward situations can drive
women crazy, so what you gonna do?
'I used to be even more crazy, because
I didn't know what to do with the energy, whereas this time I put it
into the record.
'This is cheesy, but I had a dream where a witch came
to me. I was so emotionally confused at the time that I didn't know what
was happening. I was travelling a lot, and felt really disjointed and
fucked up. And the witch in the dream said to me 'If you want to know
what's going on, write a song every day, and then you'll figure it out.'
And I did!"
Ok. Witch. One of three classic
archetypes of woman - virgin, mother, crone. The
village wise woman, she lives alone, slightly outside of the society.
She is the bearer of knowledge and medicine, knows which herbs will
induce a miscarriage, and is therefore friend to the female - and the
enemy of man.
What the fuck?
Dreams, female archetypes, the confessional mode - is this shit for real?
I mean, since when did digital, computer music - the traditional domain
of the navy-blue hoody wearing boy, the traditional speccy IDM geek -
ever - EVER - involve talk of such things?
reading, losers. Kevin Blechdom is not some kind of hippy.
Kevin Blechdom is cooler than you'll ever be.
Born in 1978, she attended
the prestigious Mills music college in San Francisco, where she learned
all about computer music, generating tracks with software she programmed
in Max / MSP.
She met ex-collaborator Bevin Kelley while both playing
at a Halloween party in 1998: they recorded their first record that weekend
and started making music together as 'Blectum from Blechdom', which they
released on the prestigious Tigerbeat 6 label.
After five years and several
releases on Tigerbeat 6 the duo split and Kevin decamped to Berlin where
her first full-length album, Bitches without Britches, came out on Chicks
on Speed records in 2003.
And Blechdom wasn't always such a heart-in-hand,
female-confessional-mode kind of lady. When Blectum from Blechdom first started out, the duo avoided
involvement with gender issues by simply pretending to be men.
"Back then, I wanted people to listen to the music without thinking about
gender at all. At the time, when I was a bit younger, I thought the best compliment
I could receive as a female artist was for someone to listen to my electronic
music and think that a man made it.
'If I read a review containing the phrase
'Blectum from Blechdom are two guys from San Francisco' I would be like, 'Thank
you!!!!' It's kind of sad really. But it was a reality."
Right now Kevy B couldn't be outing herself as female
much more if she tried. The aforementioned cover, for example, features Kevin clutching
a handful of animal guts to her exposed and freckly tits.
It's both a
homage to and a piss-take of 60s and 70s feminist performance art, such
as the work of Carolee Schneemann, who organised a show in 1964 called
'Meat Joy', in which the artist and a host of nude participants frenziedly
smeared each other with dead fish, chicken parts and raw sausages.
"I love playing with those cliches of feminist art from the past! Like,
OK, I'm a performance artist now! And I'm gonna take my shirt off and rub myself
with guts! It's like the stupidest thing a female artist could possibly do.
'But on some levels I'm also serious, like: 'Ok, let's
bring it on, all this sex shit. All these rap musicians are showing their
tits and asses and that and I say I'm not gonna do that and then I'm
like… wait!!! I can do
that!!! I don't even give a shit! I don't have the same physical beauty
standard but I'm going to fucking do it anyway!'
'You'd hear all these
rumours about why one record sold better than another - 'oh she
showed her tits, oh she showed her ass' - and I'm like, ok fine if that's
how it works I'm gonna play the same game! It's like - hey, media! You
want tits? You GOT THEM!"
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'Hey, media! You want tits?'